Western Digital Paves the Way for Youth Success in Olmsted County!
Western Digital (WD)’s motto “We Care” says it all when it comes to community engagement as a corporation. Giving back and responding to the needs of the community is a priority of the company and they believe that more can be achieved when we do it together! WD’s philanthropic programs aim to make a significant impact by focusing their efforts. Emphasis is placed on educational programs, especially Science, Technology, Engineering and Math for under privileged and underrepresented youth; hunger relief; and environmental issues. In the U.S., WD also supports programs that serve military families and veterans.
Volunteerism is at the heart of Western Digital’s efforts to make a significant impact in the world. Throughout the year and around the globe, employees are encouraged to come together and get involved in a variety of ways such as:
· Teaching and mentoring disadvantaged students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education
· Packing meals to support hunger relief worldwide
· Planting trees and picking up trash to help preserve the environment
When volunteer activities are accomplished as a team, Western Digital employees are not only supporting the organization with their time and efforts, they may also earn a cash grant for the non-profit partner.
Western Digital partnered with United Way of Olmsted County and Community Schools in May 2018 to engage as many of the 330 employees as possible in the work of United Way and Rochester Public School’s three Community Schools.
A community school is both a place and set of collective partnerships between Rochester Public Schools, United Way of Olmsted County, the individual school site, and other community resources. Its integrated focus on academics, health, social services, youth and community development, and community engagement leads to improved student learning, stronger families, and healthier communities.
Western Digital employees helped with five events in 2018, engaging 77 employees that volunteered a total of 144 hours and this was only a six-9month period! Besides volunteering, Western Digital’s Foundation grant program provided $35,000 in grants to United Way and Community Schools which represents a dollar amount assigned to the number of volunteer hours dedicated to our efforts. Western Digital Foundation also offers an opportunity for qualifying organizations to apply for funding via a competitive application process. Priority consideration is given to those organizations that offer programs/services in proximity to Western Digital offices and facilities. We are lucky to
have a Western Digital office in Rochester! Because of our great relationship, United Way and Community Schools were allocated another $24,250 in 2018.
The following are 2018 Corporate Engagement volunteer opportunities that Western Digital employees participated in:
2018 Corporate Engagement
1. The first project was in May at Riverside Community School with their Garden Party event which involved 516 students. 10 Western Digital employees volunteered a total of 48 hours to make this event a success by helping students celebrate their schoolyard garden and forest classrooms. Employees assisted at learning stations where they helped students share joy, learn and connect with a larger concept. The goal of this event was to engage children in outdoor learning by providing access and equity related to our natural environment.
2. Also in May, employees volunteered at Gage Community School to support their Healthy Student Day which served 693 students and their family members. Employees helped with multiple stations and activities including soccer, baseball, an obstacle course, sun safety, gaga ball, dancing, and bike safety. 15 Western Digital employees volunteered a total of 20 hours to help make this event a success.
3. In June, Western Digital employees volunteered at the Alternative Learning Center’s (ALC) End of School Year Celebration. Free lunch for family and community members that attend was served and activities included bingo, henna, rock wall climbing, an art activity, a live band, bean bag toss and much more. 7 employees volunteered a total of 14 hours to help make this event a success.
4. In August, Western Digital helped with United Way’s Running Start for School set up and school kit assembly. Over these two events, 17 employees volunteered a total of 34 hours to help get school supplies ready for students in need. They helped assembly school kits for approximatley 2,000 students.
5. Western Digital employees volunteered at Gage Community School Back to School Picnic by helping with food distribution and grilling. Gage welcomes Kindergarten through 5th grade families to the annual celebration of the "New Year." Gage students and families also met their teachers between 3:30 pm - 6:30 pm. This was a big event involving 693 students and their family members. 14 employees volunteered a total 28 hours to make this event a success.
Per Kari, Gage Community School facilitator:
The volunteers from Western Digital were very helpful in that event—friendly, welcoming to families, worked through very busy meal times and were quick to adapt when some changes needed to occur. We could not have served over 700 people that evening without their help.